PALAVER VISITS – The thoughtfully designed daylight studio and workspace of photographer Marieke Verdenius, known from Atelier Verdenius and The Gatherists.
Marieke is an Amsterdam based photographer focusing on lifestyle, interior, food and stills. She has a great eye for detail, design and interior. Marieke grew up in Dordrecht, a beautiful old city in The Netherlands. She has always wanted to do something with food and photography. After her creative studies she managed to combine her two greatest passions and founded Atelier Verdenius.
We visited her in her light filled studio based in an old school building in the heart of Amsterdam. We talked to her about the core elements of creating a beautiful studio or interior space.
What are your statement pieces when furnishing a space?
“When I first got this space, it felt very empty, because the ceilings are so high. I first needed to bring some warmth into the space so it would feel cosy. The idea was to make the space flexible, as it would have to function as a daylight studio as well. So I wanted to keep it very light from the get go. Also, I didn’t want my photography and styling props visible at all times, because it tends to get messy. So we came up with the idea of creating a corner with curtains hanging down the side. The linen curtain shows warmth but it still feels airy because of the colour and flowy-ness of the material. The kitchen is handmade by the father of a good friend of mine. It’s simple, yet sophisticated and allows a sense of freedom as it’s quite neutral. I think the kitchen really shows quality, which I love. It shows the care and attention that went into building it. The space also has quite some authentic details to it, which I had to work around. But I definitely think I’ve created a good basis for a studio space. It’s so versatile, yet calm”.
What would be your advice for someone decorating a space?
“This daybed for example, I bought as a statement piece. To make the space more accessible. I think it’s important to think what your space will be used for, as it needs to be functional, but you also have to think about what you want the space to feel like. I used neutral tones in my studio as I want people to feel the calmth and to feel welcome. I personally love the feeling of ‘coming home’ here. I love having the feeling that I’m allowed to get comfy on the couch every now and then. Using those warm tones and materials will give that vibe”.
Your space is quite minimalistic, but still feels so warm. That’s a strength! How have you created this particular feeling?
“I think I always knew I didn’t want ‘too much’ stuff in the studio. This is more than enough for me. And to make something feel warm it’s really all about the materials used and combined. Wood combined with linens, glass, messing. Also I specifically choose not to make everything white, as that creates ‘blue light’, which influences the space and makes it feel colder. Light is important in a space, so definitely take that into account”.
“So to sum things up. Work with what you have, see how the light is in your space, what is the function of the space and what do you wish to create? Then choose colours and materials. For me the most important thing was for it to be multi-purpose; allowing photography, pop-ups, gatherings and so on”.
Are you someone who finishes something all at once? The space definitely looks like it!
“Haha actually, when I first came here I only had a small desk and a little fridge. I’ve been here for a year now and I’ve only finished hanging things in October. Things like backdrop hooks on the ceiling, a curtain. Everything is designed to be flexible or taken a part. Simple, but meaningful, thoughtfully designed”.
“I’m not someone who would rush things, so the studio was created naturally. I also don’t purchase one thing after the other. I make well considered choices and love investing in timeless pieces. Like the daybed, an item so versatile that I can put it literally anywhere.
"For me, less is definitely more. I love little things, but what I love more is putting them away in my cupboard or behind the curtain. I don’t like clutter. Things that feel good to me are often of quality, versatile and timeless”.
What are some of your favourite interior brands?
“Marina Bautier, the designer of the daybed. Timeless linen, for the most beautiful linen home accessories. Annemieke Boots, ceramics artists and TineK, for furniture”.
Lastly, would you have any advice for your younger self?
“What I’d tell myself is that the experiences that I’ll have in life will show up in what I create. I’ve changed quite a bit in style over the years and I am figuring out what my style is; as I get closer to myself in a way. I guess through different experiences you will get closer to yourself and find out what style fits you.. And who you are. I was in a phase in my life where I wanted more serenity around me, I turned inwards and this is what I’ve created, in many ways the studio space is an oasis of serenity”.